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Around the September Art Walk

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, September 14, 2009, at 09:16AM
IMGP0202 Ed Fuentes

Crowds at the Rowan during the September Downtown Art Walk.

I am happy to report Downtown Art Walk hasn't crumbled yet. There were plenty of people milling in and around Gallery Row last Thursday, despite fewer opening night receptions. Still, some galleries continued to limit their presence to avoid the crowds.

Before we claim the name "Art Walk" is merely theory, it has to be remembered that the event began as a venturesome exercise to bring people to the Historic Core. Its success was, and still is, based on providing community outreach and authenticating a contemporary Downtown culture.

Still, it would help if the larger temporary spaces step up. P.E. Lofts, for example, could use another curated show to keep up with exhibits seen on the ground floor of The Continental and The Rowan.

At Crewest, the gallery's current show "War Over Peace" exhibits street art from Iran. Planned before the Iranian presidential election, curator Shervin Shahbazi had problems securing bios and some of the pieces. As the L.A. Times reports, "Despite the additional challenges they faced after the election, Shahbazi and the artists never considered canceling the show."

Over the weekend Alex "Man-One" Poli sent word that the show is almost sold out.

As for Art Walk, I suspect the second Thursday of the month will be reinterpreted. Hopefully, this will come with a renewed sense of collaboration between the Downtown Art Walk non-profit and the newly-founded Downtown Los Angeles Galleries Association.

Regard this photo essay as a small pop-up exhibition titled "REinterpreting Artwalk." If it was in an art gallery, the press release would state: "Urban critique interacts with the informal language of online media, and in this survey of relations among art, cityscape, and viewer; reflecting the reconfigured downtown that has art blend with city aesthetics."


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